*These two bills are both still pending in committee. The House is meeting this morning and could still vote them out.*
HB 2159, introduced by Rep. Garnet Coleman of Houston, revises the current Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity (NGBRI) statute in Texas.
NAMI TX believes that the current NGBRI statue in Texas is antiquated and fails to take into account modern knowledge of brain disorders. Therefore, NAMI Texas supports this revision of NGBRI statutes. Currently, the bill is still pending in committee.
If you wish to express your opinion on this, or any other legislation, contact your legislator or the members of the committee who will vote.
The following are committee members who will vote on this measure:
Will Hartnett 512-463-0576
Bill Zedler 512-463-0374
Jose Aliseda 512-463-0645
Wayne Christian 512-463-0556
Persons wishing to contact these members should ask to speak to the staff member who handles criminal jurisprudence issues and provide their contact number, including area code.
NAMI Texas strongly supports HB 3692, by Rep. Gallego, which was heard on April 5 in the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee.
The bill would amend the Code of Criminal Procedure to modify a peace officer’s interaction with persons with mental illness and authorize an officer to issue a citation in lieu of arresting the person for misdemeanor offenses; the officer has the option to take the person to the hospital instead of the jail. The bill also would establish a suggestion of incompetency as the minimum threshold required for an informal inquiry in a trial.
The bill would also amend the Occupations Code to require a law enforcement officer to undergo training in mental illness. (Note: The Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education currently requires peace officers to undergo 40 hours of training on mental illness; HB3692 would modify the training for all police.)
If you wish to express your opinion on this, or any other legislation, contact your legislator or the members of the committee.
Below are the members of the committee:
Will Hartnett: 512-463-0576
Bill Zedler: 512-463-0374
Jose Aliseda: 512-463-0645
Wayne Christian: 512-463-0556